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Full text of "HA68errata"

High Adventure 



Kad he been there? Why the sud- 
den attack? With a bitter curse, 
Owen realized that the answer was 
there in the room — something the 
fellow had come for. It was still 
there, if his attacker had not de- 
stroyed the evidence. 

But the devil of it was, Owen 
didn't know what that evidence was. 
There were lots of questions about 
the murder of Terry Reis— despite 
the doctor's verdict, Owen still iii* 
sisted it was murder— that he 
couldn't answer. But of one thingr 
he was sure. The person who had 
slugged him was the killer! 

The room was exactly as he had 
first seen it when he entered some 
few minutes before — exactly as it 
had been left last night.^ Nothing 
was disturbed. Owen dismissed the 
watchman and went over the room 
with a fine-tooth comb. He found 
many things, but not the thing he 
looked for. Method for murder. 

With a sullen growl he started 
for the door. A pair of boxing 
gloves was lying on the floor. He 
had liked Terry Beis— liked him 
a hell of a lot. And now the kid 
had made his last fight and lost — 
lost to the greatest champion of all, 
Death. 

Owen was a sentimentalist at 
heart. Those leather gloves, the 
symbol of the champ's last fight, 
stirred something in his heart. He 
picked them up, tucked them under 
his arm. He would keep them as a 
souvenir. A souvenir of the fight 
against Death! 

THEN a vague thought stirred in 
his mind. He pounced upon it, 
elaborated it. Those gloves — lying on 
the floor. They had been hanging 
high on the wall just before his 
assailant landed on him. 

His eyes became preternaturally 
sharp, his brain hot, as he worked 
it at top speed. Then inspiration 
struck and something clicked in his 



mind that sent him out of there on 
the run. 

A half -hour later, Owen barged 
impetuously into the office of the 
Medical Examiner. Dr. Dur^nt 
looked up from his desk, smiled and 
shoved -a box of cigars across his 
desk toward the detective. "You still 
think Reis was murdered?" 

*'l do that!" growled Owen. *'More 
than before." 

He selected a cigar with great 
care, bit off the end. 

"Listen, Doc," he beg'an. "I want 
you to do me a favor. I know the 
doctor up at the ringside said it 
was heart failure ; and I know you 
agreed with that. But, as a pal, per- 
form an autopsy for me?" 

Dr. Durant looked puzzled. 
"You're serious. YouVe got some- 
thing?" 

OWEN pursed his lips. 
"I got an idea. If Fm right-^ 
somebody will burn for the job!'* 

Dr. Durant had worked with 
Owen before. He knew the futility 
of asking questions. 

"What do you want me to test the 
body for first?" he asked. 

"Poison!" 

Durant rose from his chair, 
nodded crisply towards his desk, 
"There's a box of cigars. Sit down* 
Wait!" 

Owen waited an impatient hour. 
Then the door opened. He jumped to 
his feet. 

"So what?" he snapped. 

Dr. Durant's face was sober. 

"You were right." He nodded his 
head. "There was poison. Murder!" 

"What kind of poison?" 

"The most swift, sure and deadly 
— cyanide." 

Owen's face was a grim, implac-i 
iable mask as he started for the 
door. Durant caught him by the 
arm. "But, gosh, Owen, Kbw could 
anyone administer cyanide to him 
in the ring before fifty thousand 



High Adventur 



people? It acts instanteneously* It 
could not have been administered to 
him before the fight started. Why — 
why— it's impossible V* 

"Yeah?" flung back Owen. "That's 
what everybody thought." 

"But how was it done?" 

"I don't know, but I'm going to 
damn soon find out. What's the test 
for cyanide." 

"A simple one." Durant scrawled 
rapidly on a sheet of paper. "Here's 
all the information you will need." 

"Thanks, Doc," said Owen as he 
stuffed the paper into his pocket* 
"It looks like you're going to be a 
witness at a murder trial.'' 

AT PRECISELY eleven o'clock.the 
following morning, Detective 
Owen strolled casually into Billy 
Hillman's gymnasium on 42nd St 
A bulk>, unimportant looking pack- 
age, wrapped in newspaper, was 
carried carelessly under one arm, ^ 

A cigar cocked jauntily out of 
one corner of his mouth, he looked 
genially about him. At the far end 
of the room, gathered around a 
ring, was a little knot of men. 

They shifted uncomfortably at the 
detective's approach* 

Owen greeted them affably. 

"Hi, Kilbain — hi, Martin, nice of 
you to come." 

"Nice, eh?" Kilbain sneered. 
"Don't hand me that line. WeVe 
been tailed ever since you streeted 
us last night. When are you going 
to take the *eyes' off us?" 

Owen laughed but didn't answer. 
Battling Hart, the new champion, 
was punching a bag in the ring. 
Owen turned to him, waved a 
friendly greeting, walked over to 
where Rapp and Pinelli were talking. 

They looked up. 

"Well, Rapp, anything to say 
iabout that insurance policy?" 

Rapp ran the point of a dry 
tongue over drier lips. "Honest to 
God, Bill—" 



"Save it." Owen tunned to Kart^ 
who was now skipping rope, jerked 
his head. "Come here a minute/' 

Hart dropped the rope, crossed 
over, and climbed through the 
ropes. "Still in training, eh?" asked 
the detective. 

The other smiled, nodded his 
head. "Sure, why not? I'm the 
champ now." 

"Yeah," said Owen. 'Tm going 
to do a little training myself." 

He took the package from under 
his arm, "^shook off the paper, re- 
vealing a pair of boxing gloves. 

"You better do some training with 
your brains,'* Kilbain sneered. 

"Yeah," mocked Martin. "You^re 
all right on the muscle work, but 
when it comes to the bean — " 

Owen laughed. 

"Razzing me because I thought 
one of you bumped Reis? Well, my 
brainwork might not be as good as 
my footwork, but it isn't so bad. 
All I need now is a couple of 
rounds to stimulate it." 

He held up the gloves. 

"Recognize these. They were used 
last night in the fight. I'm keeping 
*em for a souvenir. You're first, Kil- 
bain— how about going a couple of 
rounds with me." 

"Why don't you pick on some- 
body your size?" Kilbain sneered. 
Owen sized him up. He did have 
the edge on the gambler. 

"But hell," continued the other* 
"I ought to be able to last one 
round with you." 

Owen nodded. 

"No; you'd be a set-up for me." 
He turned to Martin. "How about 
you?" 

Martin tensed his bulging biceps. 

"And how!" he accepted readily. 
"Nothing would please me better 
than to take a sock at you. Only I 
wish I could put a horseshoe into 
the glove." 

Rapp stepped forward. "What 
about me, Owen?" he offered. "I 



High Adventure 



wouldn't mind taking a rap at you." 

Pinelli, a short, squat Italian, 
sized up the detective- 

**And I think I could take you, 
myself," he decided. "What do you 
think of that?" 

Owen grinned tolerantly, "ril 
give you all a chance later." 

Then his eyes became cold. He 
whirled on the new champ. 

"How about you, Hart? These 
mugs are too easy for me." He 
shaved the gloves in his hands be- 
for the other's nose. "Just a couple 
of rounds with these gloves. What 
do you say?" 

Hart never said it with words. 
He lashed out suddenly with his 
fist. Owen rolled under the blow, 
ducked, side-stepped — closed* Sud- 
den commotion — chaos! 

In two swift, savage blows. Hart 
gave Owen another cauliflower e&r. 
The detective took it, bored in. His 
iron fist sank deep into the cham- 
pion's stomach. 

HART grunted, his knee came up in 
a foul blow, caught the detective 
in the groin. Owen slumped. Hart 
wrestled him, mauled him, smashed 
his fist to the detective's jaw. Then 
with a sudden movement he 
wrenched at the gun on Owen's 
hip. Owen was groggy, but he was 
just beginning to fight. That savage 
jerk on the gun in his holster 
lashed him to furious life. His left 
hand froze to Hart's wrist, clung 
there desperately. His right slashed 
forward in a sledgehammer blow. 

Hart's knees buckled. 

Owen's fist moved with the speed 
of a rapier and with the kick of a 
mule. It landed flush on the point 
of the champion's chin. He went down 
slowly, joint by joint. His eyes 
glazed over. The detective stood 
panting over him. 

"That was the punch Reis was 
going to give you — just before you 
murdered him I" he gritted. 



He whirled furiously on the 
others. "Anybody else?" 

But no one accepted the challenge. 
They were too shocked, too dumb- 
founded by the startling declaration 
that had followed it. 

"TVyTURDERED Reis, you said?" 

iVi whispered Rapp. 

"Right!" grated Owen. 

"But how? There were a million 
people there. Coppers, dicks— you 
were sitting at the ringside." 

Owen nodded. 

"But he murdered him just the 
same. Right before our eyes. Hart 
was foxy, clever. He had plans of 
his own. Most of all he wanted to be 
champ. Well, he was, for a day. 
This is how he did it He knew that 
Reis had it fill over him like a tent. 
So before going into the ring he put 
some cyanide flakes on his shoes. 
He rubbed those deadly crystals 
into the resin in his corner. 

"Then, in that last round, when 
he was groggy and Reis knocked 
him down, he rubbed his gloves in 
that resin — in that deadly cyanide. 
One tiny speck of it is deadly!" 

"My God !" whispered Pinelli. 

"Yes,^' growled Owen. "Hart's 
blows never killed Terry Reis. It 
was the cyanide on his gloves. He 
brushed them against Terry's lips. 
There was an open bruise there. 
And it killed him instantly." 

"How did you tumble to all 
that?" asked Pinelli. 

"I wouldn't have tumbled at all 
if Hart hadn't tried to get rid of 
the gloves. From then on it was a 
cinch. That is, to figure out how Reis 
was killed. But I still didn't know 
which of you did it. 

"So I staged that little training 
session of mine. Hart was the only 
one who didn't want to take a crack 
at me — if I used these gloves." 

"Hell!" said Martin with reluctant 
admiration. "Your brain is as good 
as your sock."